Montreal Gazette, 3 July 1871, page 2.


The sixteenth grand annual gathering of the Caledonian Society took place in Decker Park, at Mile End. At an early hour in the morning the St Lawrence Main street cars began to fill up, and from the broad Highland brogue of many of the passenger and the irrepressible Glasgow and Edingburgh twangs of others, it was not difficult to divine that all had the common object of reaching the scene of the gathering in view.  The grounds had been carefully provided with the swings for the young people; and a platform for the more elderly youngsters, who preferred to keep time to merry music with pattering feet and palpitating hearts, had been erected, and was a favourite resort.  Shaded spots were also in great demand, for the sun by noonday had come out, as he usually does at this season of the year, very strong.  As usual at pic-nics, there were old people and young people, people with baskets prepared with a forethought and variety contents, in the first instance highly creditable, and in the next highly gratifying and satisfactory when the inner man began to assert his wants.  There was a fair sprinkling of bonnie lasses, guarded by blooming and matronly dames, who were not slow to see by the tell-tale deepening of the color of the cheek who was the favored one who came to demand the hand for the next dance and who had long ago secured the heart. The gathering by two o’clock in the afternoon had increased to a large number, and, as usual, was composed of the most respectable classes of the community. The games were the chief object of attraction, and although there were not as many contestants as on previous occasions, they were the most keenly contested by those present. Robert Fraser, from Glengarry, famous as the man who took fourteen prizes in New York in one day, was invincible, and carried off the first prize for everything he entered for. One of the most interesting features of the games was the struggles of the boys divided into classes of fifteen years and under and twelve years and under, for honors. The little fellows ran, leaped and jumped with desperate determination and energy, and as three prizes were awarded for most of the prizes contended for, a fair share of their number succeeded in obtaining a reward for something or another. The clever performances of Master John McRobie, son of Guardian McRobie, of No 2 Fire Station, were particularly noticed; in almost all the games he entered for in the juvenile class, under twelve, he succeeded in carrying off the first prize.  His hop-step-and-jump of twenty feet for a youngster of eleven years of age, is a capital performance.  The games of quoits began at ten, and the others at eleven o’clock.  The following gentlemen acted as judges: Lieutenant Colonel Isaacson, Messrs Alexander McGibbon and Stanley C Bagg. The President and officers of the Society were indefatigable in their exertions to make everybody comfortable and to add to the success of the occasion. A [illegible] the games came to a conclusion and soon after the assembly dispersed, much pleased at the manner in which they had spent the day. The following is a list of the prizes and successful competitors.


Quoits – [illegible] entries – Mr W McRobie 1st prize, silver quoit medal – D Wright, 2nd do, cash $3

Grand Dame Brod Match 4 entries – Mr Andrew White, gold medal

Throwing hammers – 27 lbs and 14 lbs, 2 entries – Mr Peter Fraser, heavy – 28 feet light [illegible] feet; 1st prize, $4; Geo Anderson, heavy 48 ft 4 in, light 73 ft 4 in 2nd priz $3

Putting heavy stone 23 lbs 3 entries- P Fraser 53 ft 8 in, 1st prize, $4; Geo Anderson 35 ft 1 in 2nd prize, $3.

Putting light stone 16 lbs, 2 entries – P Fraser 38 ft 1 in 1st prize $4, Geo Anderson 35 ft 5 in 2nd prize $3

Running hop step and leap, 3 entries – P Fraser 29 ft 4 in, 1st prize $3; McDobie 37 ft 3 in, 2nd prize $2.

Running hop step and leap, juvenile class under 15 years of age, 11 entries – Robert McGillie 32 feet, 1st prize, Scott’s poems; Adam Allan 29 feet 5 inches,, 2nd prize; kilt, W Taylor 28 feet 5 inches, 3rd prize bonnet.

Running hop step and leap class under 10 years of age, 7 entries – John McRobie 24 feet 4 inches, 1st prize kilt, George Baille 23 feet 4 inches, 2nd prize, sporran; Thomas Watson 22 feet 2 inches, rd prize hose.

Tossing the Caber, 4 entries – Peter Fraser 29 feet 8 inches, 1st prize, $4, Inglis 32 feet 2nd prize $3.

Running High Leap – 4 entries – Peter Fraser, 5 feet 1st prize $3; McDonald 5 feet 2 inches 2nd prize $2.

Running high leap, juvenile class, under fifteen years of age, 13 entries – W Martin 3 feet 8 inches, 1st prize Burns Poems; W Taylor 3 feet 6 inches, 2nd prize, plaid; D Neilson, 3 feet 5 inches, 3rd prize, hose.

Running Long leap, 5 entries – P Fraser 17 feet 2 inches, 1st prize $3, M Newall 17 feet 1 inch 2nd prize $2.

Do, Juvenile class, under 12 years 3 entries – John McRobie – 19 feet 4 inches, 1st prize sporran; Geo Baillie 10 feet 4 inches 2nd prize, bonnet; Jas McRobie 5 feet 2 inches, 3rd do, hose.

Pole leap, 4 entries – P Fraser, 9 feet 1st prize $4; J Fletcher 8 feet 2nd prize $3.

Pole leap, juvenile class under 15 years – 13 entries – Howler 5 feet 6 inches 1st prize Tartan Bible; C Harvey 5 feet 2nd prize, bonnet ant thistle; W Martin 4 feet 10 inches , 3rd prize hose.

Do, class under 12 years, 6 entries  – Geo Martin 4 feet 6 inches, 1st prize, kilt; Geo Baillie 4 feet 4 inches, 2nd prize, sporran; Jno McRobie 4 feet 3 inches, 3rd prize, hose.

Highland fling in costume – 2 entries- D McIntyre, silver medal.

Ghillie Callum in costume – W Connel, silver medal.

Shetland Pony race, ½ mile, 3 entries – RD McGibbon, riding whip.

Handle sack race – 4 entries – G Ross, 1st prize, $3; J Huneman, 2nd do.

Best dressed boys in Highland costume, 6 entries, President’s prize – John Fraser 1st prize, box collars; 1st Vice President Jas A Murray, 2nd do, Scott’s Poems; 2nd Vice President David Allan, 3rd do, pair rabbits.

One mile race, Indians included, 6 entries – M Newall, 5 min 18 sec, 1st prize $5; J Anderson 5 mins 20 sec, 2nd prize $3.

Shetland pony race, half mile, heats best 2 in 3, 4 entries – RW McGibbon, Donrobin riding whip.

Race for junior class under 15 years, 19 entries – C McAlman 1st prize, Campbell’s poems; Taylor 2nd do, bonnet and thistle; Andrew Allan rd do, hose.

Same under 12 years, 3 entries – DA Campbell, 1st prize plaid; W McGibbon 2nd do, bonnet; Geo Baillie 3d do, hose.

Wheel Barrow race, 3 entries – H McKenzie, 1st prize $2; F Minty 2d do, $1.

Silver medal to the boy taking the largest number of prizes, Geo Baillie.